Brian Bacarella scored three goals Saturday, including the game-winner with just under five minutes remaining, as St. Joseph edged Barlow 6-5 in the CIAC Class S boys lacrosse state championship game at McMahon.
It was the second title in three years for the 12th-seedeed Cadets (12-8), who won their first state title in school history in 2009.
The only thing Saturday's thriller lacked was overtime. After three quarters of swapping goals, the game was knotted at 4-4 and overtime looked like a strong possibility.
In the first quarter, St.Joseph used tenacious and physical defense to keep the Falcons' offense off step and ineffective. The Cadets repeatedly checked the Barlow players, preventing the third-seeded Falcons from lining up any quality shots.
St. Joseph scored three goals in the first quarter - two within 10 seconds - to open a 3-0 lead.
Barlow (16-5) regrouped, turned up its physical play and dominated the second quarter.
Senior attackman Brain Sternberg seemed to will his two goals into the net after slicing and dicing through the Cadets' defense. When the half ended the teams were tied at 3.
In the third quarter, Barlow continued to carry the momentum, grabbing a 4-3 lead on Dominic Lee's goal with 7 1/2 minutes left in the period.
Barlow's Zach Upton was stellar in goal with 15 saves and turned away all of St. Joseph's third-quarter shots until Bacarella scored his second of the day with 55 seconds left in the period.
Barlow, which was seeking its first state title since 2002, tighten up in the fourth quarter.
However, a penalty call early in the period gave St.Joseph a one-minute power play, an eternity in a championship game. The Cadets capitalized on Mike Marini's goal with seven minutes left. Barlow answered with the equalizer 90 seconds later.
The Falcons threatened in the final minutes, but they were turned away by St. Joseph goalkeeper Matt Mohr, who registered 17 saves.